Does Prayer Really Work? by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
I was born under an umbrella of matriarchy, steeped in prayer and giggles.
My Nanna was a woman who prayed constantly for her family. She had each of their pictures in frames on shelves in her little room and every day she would pray for each of her children and grandchildren. I knew that I was the luckiest little girl in the ‘whole world’ because when I was about 10 my Nanna came to live with us. There was nothing better in the universe than being close to Nanna. She was sweet and cheeky. Even her name was like a cloud of Spring Sunshine – ‘Violet’.
She loved a cup of tea but she detested dirty feet. Oh ouch ouch !!!!! My little sister and I would sit in two inches of lukewarm bath water at the end of the day with our feet in the air while Nanna scrubbed our feet clean with a flannel and we tried not to squirm or she would scrub harder. “Dirty little heathens” she would mutter. ‘These dirty little feet wont be getting into my clean sheets’.
My Nan loved tea, Lan Choo Tea. Lan Choo tea because The LAN-CHOO Bonus Plan offers you a choice from over 500 useful gifts in exchange for the Bonus Labels on the end of each LAN-CHOO packet.
“Next time you are in town visit the LAN-CHOO ‘Bonus Showrooms’ and inspect the useful and interesting range of Bonus Presents awaiting LAN-CHOO customers”.
I’m not sure that we ever went to those magical ‘Bonus Showrooms’ in Flinders Street Melbourne, but she was passionate about saving those labels. She even had a special tin for them.
Often I would creep into her room and kneel with her by her bed and listen to her pray. I remember her saying to me, “Lisa, we don’t ever need to fear. Sometimes things may go wrong, we may be haunted but we’ll never be daunted”. She was a funny lady, full of mischief, a wicked sense of humour and a woman of prayer.
She smelled like lavender and washed my hair with curly pet. ‘Curly Pet’ the wonder of wonders was ordered every month. The label stated that it was “guaranteed to give your baby curls”. My head was liberally smothered with it which is hilarious because I actually have naturally curly hair which of course was attributed to the wonder working powers of ‘Curly Pet’ and not my DNA.
She used Curly Pet on my hair and the magnificent Dippity Do on hers. I’m not sure what excactly dippty do did, but as a young child I loved nothing more than to get into all the magical pots and formulas on Nanas dressing table. Dippity Do was also a great standby if you ran out of clagg.
Nanna taught me how to tap dance, how to play pranks, how to play scrabble and how to pray.
Nanna had three daughters and two sons. The eldest child, my mother, and my two aunts Carol and Bev, have also inherited this mandate of prayer and my Nanna’s wicked sense of humour. Although our families have been through some traumatic times, two thing stands firm in their lives. Prayer and an irreverent sense of humour.
Prayer and humour have helped us navigate some dark days. Somehow we always bounced back because:
1: The Lord is good and He answers prayer
2: We were never allowed to be daunted
I didn’t really know what daunted meant as a child. Today I finally looked up what daunted means. It means to: “take aback, shake, throw, demoralise or dishearten. AND if ever we were thinking about being a little tiny bit daunted, there was always a strong cup of tea with lots of sugar to knock that nonsense out of us.
I learned from my Nan that Prayer is simply a conversation with God. The bible tells us that prayer brings peace, and wisdom and that it is effective and powerful. ‘So we…petitioned our God about this and he answered our prayer’ (Ezra 8:23).
Today I have asked my mother Lauris and my two aunts Aunty Bev and Aunty Carol to answer some questions for me about prayer. My Mother is 87 this year. I can’t tell you how old my aunts are because I’m still scared of them and they could kill me for telling you. Or ‘slap me over the wrist with a tram ticket’ as my Nana would say.
Aren’t they beautiful they are so precious: Aunty Bev on the left, Aunty Carol in the middle and Mum (Lauris) on the right.
To this day each of my siblings and 19 cousins know that at any time of the day or night, they have an open line to either of these three women for prayer requests. They pray regularly and often pray together over the phone. Many times I have joined these matriarchs in times of prayer. In the movie ‘The Castle’, presents go straight to the pool room. In our family prayer requests go straight to the ‘hot line’.
From: The Sisters about their mother
Mum used to get up very early in the morning to pray and then would return to her room several times during the day to pray some more. She called her bedroom her ‘prayer closet’ or her ‘sanctuary’. Prayer was very important part of mums life and she would receive prayer requests from friends and family daily. You would often hear her on the phone praying with someone. She was a warrior woman and would never give up.
As sisters we do a prayer reading everyday. Prayer is a major part of our lives too. We do a reading together every day so that we have read the whole bible through each year. We pray in the morning and at night and there are many times when we are woken up in the middle of the night to pray – or have a burden of prayer. When we are worried about one of our kids or grandchildren we say “Well there no use worrying about it, Lets Pray!”
We have seen our prayers answered so many times that there are too many to mention.
Does prayer work? Of course prayer works. Bev could not have children and Mum got us together to pray. Mum said to Bev “you are not barren” and we will pray believing. A few months later Bev was pregnant.
We feel so happy and excited when we pray. We feel really free in our spirit and Bev really gets revved up (don’t put that bit in cause she’ll get mad). Sometimes we cry and laugh for joy at the goodness of God and how good he has been to our families. We are truly blessed.
Even when there seems no way out or ‘no answer’, prayer bring us peace, joy and an assurance that we can rest knowing that God cares for our families and we can trust Him. He has never failed us. God is Good.
This testimony from Bev concerning her friend Kirsten and the power of prayer.
Kirsten’s husband Sam was destroying his life on ice and had become abusive to the family so he left her. Kirsten needed prayer as her two young sons were being hard to handle. They did not want to go school, they were sleeping in her bed and generally not coping with the situation.
One day Kristen came to visit me with her two boys. I could sense that they were very distraught so I asked the boys if I could pray with them and they said yes. I asked them ‘what would you like me to pray for?’ They asked if we could pray for their dad to get better. I said if I pray will you believe with me and they said yes. So together we prayed for their father. After texting the boys daily to encourage them and pray with them, we then heard that Sam had come home and asked forgiveness for being so nasty. He also asked if the boys would thank the ladies that had been praying for him. He was so amazed that two ladies (Lauris and Bev) who didn’t even know him, were praying for him.
Sams recovery was a miracle. He went and asked for professional help, he then attended every meeting needed to get well. He ended up getting a certificate to say he was free from drugs and is now home with his family.
The truth is that the faith and prayers of the boys was answered. God answers prayer.
Final comment from Lauris
It is very important to pray. The ‘big thing’ is that you pray with faith and believe God and you must believe in what you are asking for. Speak to God as if you were speaking to your father who loves you and who wants to look after you. Speak with an open heart like a little child because He cares about you with an everlasting love. Get started on exercising your faith, people are always talking about how we need to exercise, but forget to exercise their faith. Exercise builds muscle and endurance. It’s no different with faith and prayer. Believe in God and you will see some mighty things begin to happen.
I hope you enjoyed this little journey into my family heritage. I feel very blessed to have these precious women in my life.
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